Remember a few weeks ago, when Jermichael Finley's agent came out and told us Rodgers wasn't a good teammate?
Finley brushed it off, but many people wondered what he really thought.
Well, it's come up again, as Finley told reporters (such as ESPN Wisconsin's Jason Wilde) that in order to improve his season despite a shoulder injury 'it takes two people to do that' and alluded to a lack of chemistry between himself and his quarterback.
Let's all pull back off the ledge for a second before we completely jump Finley for his words.
Is what he said really as bad as Twitter is making it out to be?
Let's read the pertinent parts of Wilde's piece.
Later, when asked if he could get the season to improve while playing through a shoulder injury, Finley replied, “I can. It takes two people to do that. And I need the quarterback on my side, and I need to catch the ball when he throws it to me. So it takes two things to get that going, the chemistry. I feel we need to get that going.”
Emphasis mine. I need to catch the ball when he throws it to me.
That's Finley saying "hey, I've been dropping the ball (literally) and I need to do better."
Is he wrong, given how Rodgers has played, to say they need to work some things out? I mean, that's the whole offense when it comes down to it. Nobody is above reproach, least of all Rodgers.
Finley went on to say while the chemistry is "OK," it's not good enough and is in need of work.
Perhaps he wasn't as eloquent as you'd like, and given Finley's reputation, anything he says comes under a microscope.
However, in order to be as furious at Finley as Twitter and fans in general seem to be, you have to completely ignore the last quotes in the article, where he calls Rodgers a leader for taking the blame for the offense on himself.
He says that's what leaders do, and that's what teammates do—take responsibility. Which Finley did more than once in the interview.
It's ignoring this quote that ends the article:
“I think he’s playing good, but like I said, this is a team sport, and it’s going to take all 11 of us on the field when he’s on the field with us. I don’t put it all on him. It’s his receiving corps, we’re dropping balls; it’s his linemen not blocking for him. He’s got a lot to think about. I would be scared, too, if I was getting hit like that.”
Like or hate Finley in general—that's fine. But killing him for this seems like going out of your way to be angry at him.
Maybe he shouldn't have said anything, but he was asked, and he answered. All things being equal, have we gotten to the point where to mention Rodgers' name in a negative way—even a small way—is to court disaster?
Rodgers isn't playing well. Even he says that. Finely didn't throw him under the bus or avoid responsibility or anything like that.
This is more about many fans disliking Finley than it is about the comments. If Nelson or Jennings or even Jeff Saturday had said the things Finley said, I would put good money the outrage would be far, far less.
And now for the rest of the NFC North.
The Sun-Times' Mark Potash talks about, among other things, how receivers now want to play in Chicago and what's going on with Brian Urlacher.
ESPN Chicago says the Bears are totally content with their wide receiver depth at this time. Thanks but no thanks, Plax.
The Tribune's Vaughn McClure says Lovie Smith and GM Phil Emery are on the same page about a lot, including when it's time to worry about Smith's contract.
The Free Press' Dave Birkett says that a lot of Titus Young's issues stem from a knee problem he can't shake.
Fox Sports' Larry Lage says the Lions know the only way to get respect is to start winning.
Tyler Dunne of the Journal-Sentinel says that Alex Green intends to make the most of his chance with Cedric Benson down.
Meanwhile, Bleacher Report's Adam Wells says James Starks is the guy who has to step up.
ESPN Wisconsin's Jason Wilde says Clay Matthews is calling for better protection of its defensive players.
Judd Zulgad of 1500 ESPN says that with Jerome Simpson hurt, Michael Jenkins and Devin Aromashadu could need to do more.
Christopher Gates of the Daily Norseman wonders who the Vikings will face at quarterback.
Bleacher Report's Adam Wells says James Starks has to step up and be the back he was during the 2010 Super Bowl postseason run.
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